Rajasthan Royals snatched the game away from Royal Challengers Bangalore out of thin air and stunned them by chasing down 191 with five wickets and 7 balls to spare thanks to an annihilating stand between Steve Smith and James Faulkner.
Chasing 191 was always going to be a tough ask and Rajasthan Royals openers Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair started off in a productive manner putting up 54 inside eight overs.
Yuzvendra Chahal handed RCB an all-important first wicket when Rahane (24)trying to cut only managed to knick it behind. There was change in batting order as Shane Watson (1) decided tobat ahead of Sanju Samson. He did not lasted too longas Yuvraj Singh went past his stance and decision to promote himselfproved to be a failed one.
In another surprising move Stuart Binny (1) came out to bat but he too perished without contributing giving Yuvraj his second wicket. Samson (13)finally came out to bat and looked nimble early on hitting a four and a six before returning a simple catch to bowler Yuvraj Singh. RR’s scoreboard with his dismissal read 82-4 in 11 overs.
Karun Nair was holding fort on the otherend as he kept scoring at a rapid pace. Steve Smith too joined and then the two looked to stable the innings after quick fall of wickets.
Kohli persisted with Yuvraj Singhas he reward him with a prized scalp of Nair, who scored 56 off 39 balls. Nair was Yuvraj’s fourth victim and looked like match was well within RCB’s control.
James Faulkner joined Smith in 14th over and the duo never looked back. The Australians put on an unbeaten match winning stand of 85 runs in just 5.2 overs at an incredible run-rate of 15.93 too see Rajasthan Royals win from a difficult position. Smith scored 48 not out off 21 balls hitting four 4s and four 6s. Faulkner finished unbeaten on 41 off 17 balls and clobbered three 6s and three 4s in his innings.
Rajasthan Royals needed 65 from last four overs. Mitchell Starc was taken for 21 runs in 17th over and then Ashok Dinda gave away 23 runs in 18th over to see game turn in favour of Royals. With 21 needed from 12 balls Faulkner and Smith finished the match in 19th over hitting Varun Aaron for 21 runs.
Yuvraj Singh (4-35) and Yuzvendra Chahal were the only bowlers to pick wickets for RCB.
Earlier Royal Challengers Bangalore managed to score 190-5 in 20 overs after losing top three batsmen for just 40 runs. Yuvraj Singh and AB de Villiers shared 132-run partnership for the 4thwicket at a run-rate of 12.18 in 10.5 overs to see RCB reach a formidable total. Yuvraj Singh’s blistering knock of 83 his highest T20 scorecame in 38 balls as he hit seven 4s and seven 6s. AB de Villiers once again showed why he is the most feared batsman in death overs as he too hammered RR bowlers in his innings of 58. de Villiers hit five towering 6sand a four before going back to hutch.
Kane Richardson bagged two wickets but was expensive. James Faulkner (1-42), Pravin Tambe (1-38) and Rahul Tewatia (1-17) took one wicket each.
Man of the Match: James Faulkner
Brief Scores: RR 191-5(Nair 56, Yuvraj 4-35)beat RCB 190-5 (Yuvraj 83, Richardson2-43) by five wickets.
IPL 2014 Schedule: All Match Fixtures and Complete Time Table of IPL 7
IPL 2014 Points Table, Match Results and Team Standings